Can Nest Camera Be Used Without a Subscription?

Nest Camera
Nest Camera

As you consider buying the Nest camera to secure your home, a crucial question emerges: can you fully harness its capabilities without opting for the Nest Aware subscription?

Understanding whether the Nest camera can provide a seamless user experience without opting for a subscription may influence your purchasing decision, as some people don’t like paying ongoing fees while using the device.

In this blog post, I’ll show you what you can get when you use this camera without a subscription and explore the wealth of features available to those who choose to opt for the premium service.

Whether you’re a potential Nest camera owner weighing your options or an existing user contemplating subscription benefits, keep reading to discover the possibilities and make an informed decision about the level of security that suits your needs.

What Happens to Your Nest Camera When the Subscription Expires?

Choosing to use your Nest camera without a subscription means giving up access to many features and functions, resulting in a considerable loss of the device’s full potential.

Feature 1: Motion or Seen Events.

Nest Cam Outdoor and Nest Cam Indoor, Nest Cam IQ Indoor and IQ Outdoor: These models will still detect basic motion but without the advanced capabilities of intelligent motion detection.

Basic motion detection identifies movement in the camera’s field of view but doesn’t distinguish between familiar faces, strangers, animals, or objects.

Without intelligent motion detection, the camera won’t provide nuanced insights into the nature of detected motion. You’ll receive alerts for any movement that happens inside your house.

Nest Cam (Wired), Nest Cam Battery, and Floodlight: These cameras will continue to operate with intelligent motion detection and animal detection, even without a subscription.

You’ll still benefit from these advanced features that can distinguish between various types of motion, and animal detection, helping to filter out alerts triggered by pets.

This enhances the camera’s ability to reduce the number of inefficient alerts you receive on your smartphone.

Feature 2: Activity Zones.

Nest Cam Indoor, Nest Cam Outdoor, and IQ Cameras: The Activity Zones feature, allowing users to define specific virtual areas for monitoring, is not available without a subscription to these models.

Consequently, the camera will record and notify users of all motion events within its entire field of view. This could result in receiving numerous alerts, including those for less critical areas, potentially leading to a higher number of false alarms.

Nest Cam (Wired), Nest Cam (Battery), and Nest Cam with Floodlight: Even without a subscription, the Activity Zones feature will continue to function on these camera models.

Users can define specific areas to monitor, and the camera will only notify and record clips when motion is detected within those designated zones.

Moreover, these models will still provide the ability to differentiate between a person, package, vehicle, or animal within the defined Activity Zones.

Retaining the Activity Zones feature without a subscription offers users more control over notifications, ensuring that alerts are relevant and specific to the areas they deem most important.

Feature 3: View Live Feed.

Accessing the live feed is a crucial feature that allows users to remotely monitor their property in real-time through the Nest or Google Home app.

This function remains unaffected by subscription status and will continue to operate seamlessly across all Nest camera models.

Regardless of the specific Nest camera model you own, the assurance that the live feed feature persists without a subscription offers peace of mind.

This means that users who prioritize real-time monitoring won’t experience any disruption in their ability to keep an eye on their property, ensuring constant accessibility to the live feed whenever needed.

Feature 4: Event Video History.

This feature typically allows users to review recorded video footage from their Nest cameras. When motion or sound is detected, this device can start recording video clips, and these clips are then stored in the cloud.

Unfortunately, the Event Video History feature is not accessible without a subscription for Nest Cam Indoor, Nest Cam Outdoor, and IQ Cameras.

Without a subscription, users won’t have access to recorded video clips triggered by motion or sound events, limiting their ability to review past incidents.

To benefit from this capability, users are required to subscribe to Nest Aware, which provides options like 30 days of event video history or 10 days of continuous video history and 60 days of event video history with Nest Aware Plus.

If you have a newer camera like Nest Cam (battery), Nest Cam (indoor, wired, 2nd gen), or Nest Doorbell (battery), you can get up to 3 hours of event video history without a subscription.

Feature 5: Voice Control.

Google Home Voice control is another option available for people who want to use the Nest camera without paying a subscription.

With this feature, you can use voice commands to request the camera to open the live video feeds on the Google Home display or directly on your smartphone.

For example, you might say, “Hey Google, show me the front door camera”.

If your Nest camera has recorded events (motion or sound-triggered), you may be able to use voice commands to review specific events.

Some basic controls and settings adjustments can be made using voice commands. For example, you might be able to turn the camera on or off, adjust camera settings, or enable specific modes.

All of these features are available without the necessity of a subscription—providing you with an enhanced Nest camera experience without any additional cost.

Final Words.

Personally, I find the features offered through the subscription enhance the camera’s efficiency significantly, making its purchase a valuable and worthwhile addition to your security setup.

Adam B